Make Your Own Rules Diet by Tara Stiles

When I was younger, I wasn’t a picture of health. My mom will tell you differently (MOM if you’re listening… I had glasses, no boobs, and long crimped hair. I was not cute), but I was, frankly, overweight for my age and had zero self-confidence. I didn’t like the way I looked or how I felt.

By the time I reached high school, my brain was already infiltrated by media telling me that I needed to be thin, pretty and perfect. For the next several years of my life, I focused on losing weight and I did, but honestly, I still completely lacked self-confidence. I spent tons of time in the gym, and while this period in my life ignited my love of running and fitness as well as of good food, it also negatively skewed my perspective on how to reach my goals.

I’ll save the long story for another day. The short story is that I wrecked my metabolism by trying any “lose 10 pounds in a week” plan that I could get my hands on and over-exercised.

Thankfully, I came to my senses (dear senses, you sure took long enough). I realized that to be clear-minded and happy, you need to fuel yourself with delicious, nutritious food and make time for self-care. In my case, self-care includes lounging when I need to, listening to my favorite music, taking yoga classes, and spending time with my family and friends. Most importantly, I spend time alone, giving my head a chance to catch up with my heart.

Now, in the age of social media and the internet, I have the opportunity to seek out people whose philosophies align with mine. I’m able to be inspired by amazing humans and learn new lessons from these people every day. One such person is Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga, a NYC based studio that focuses on movement to bring awareness to the body and become stronger both in mind and body.

I’ve followed Tara for some time now, and recently her popularity in the U.S. skyrocketed thanks to her collaboration with Reebok (you’ve probably seen her famous cloud pants before). While she does design some bomb clothing, it’s her lifestyle that I admire most. When I found out she was writing a new book called the Make Your Own Rules Diet, I knew I had to read it. Just from the title I could tell that this wasn’t your typical “follow my plan to look hot!” book. This was going to be the real deal – a life changer.

Make your own rules diet Tara Stilesphoto provided by Tara Stiles

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to read an advanced sample of  Tara’s book and share it with you. I can assure you that as soon as it’s released (November 11!), I’ll pick up a copy of my own. Here’s what I took away as the core of the book:

“When following someone else’s rules leads us further away from ourselves, we start swimming in dangerous territory. We chase the external and grasp at the next best thing that never lives up to its promise. And worse yet, we begin to think of ourselves as failures.”

This book aims to lead us back to ourselves in three ways: the mat, the cushion, the kitchen (i.e. yoga, meditation, food). Tara writes that when we spend time in those three areas, we can feel, move, and believe. Those are the three principles by which we can make space for ourselves and begin to thrive.

“The more space you have, the better you start to feel and the more you’ll want to continue the great feeling.”

Tara’s writing captivated me throughout the book, which includes personal anecdotes and stories (she’s so inspiring!), yoga routines, meditation routines, recipes and two different “transformation” plans to follow, if that’s your ish or you need a little guidance.

While I only had a sampling of these, I can assure you that the meditation and flows are easy to follow and rejuvenating and the recipes simple, clean and delicious. Look! I can prove it. This is Tara’s Roasted Acorn Squash Soup. It took minimal time and prep. Plus, I didn’t see a single recipe in the sampling I received with more than 10 ingredients, not counting spices, which I LOVED.

acorn squash soup make your own rules diet

I’m highly recommending the Make Your Own Rules Diet for one specific reason: Tara doesn’t tout her views as the best, she simply wants to share information with you and let you make your rules. We are all different, so how could one prescribed diet or routine fit us all? It can’t! With that in mind, you can truly take away what works for you from this book. I loved it, and I know you will, too.


Full disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I received a BLAD copy of Make Your Own Rules Diet free of charge. All opinions are my own. 

Questions of the Day:
>> Are you familiar with Tara Stiles?
>> What do you think of the lifestyle philosophy shared here?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life



  1. Oh awesome! I really like this philosophy and I’m definitely guilty of ruining my metabolism a few times in college with the “lose 10lbs” week diet things. Ugh!! But it sounds like Tara’s philosophy is a good one! I’ll have to check out her stuff! Thanks for posting, Angela!

  2. I love Tara Stiles! I didn’t realize she was putting out a book – that’s awesome. You know that’s I’m going to agree with the philosophy here…in order to figure out what’s truly going to work best for our unique bodies, we need to look inward and stop relying on external factors to tell us what or how much to eat.

  3. I love that girl! But I had no idea she came out with a book. Sounds like a good read, though! I’m all about bio-individuality and the idea that different thing work for different people. That’s what I completely gave up on reading diet books that really heavily pushed one way of eating and claimed that it was the be-all, end-all. No, sorry… doesn’t exist. No one diet is going to work for everyone. The only thing that DOES work is listening to what your own body wants.

    1. Yep exactly. This was an interesting setup because she was sharing what works for her and laying out a plan, too, but ultimately she made it clear that this was just a starting point and to live truly healthfully you take the basic foundations & make them your own.

  4. I’ve never heard of Tara Stiles but I’m glad her message, book and mantras are ones which correlate with your current frame of mind- and that is one which is refreshing.

    Bio individuality is a HUGE thing. Remind me to tell you about my new diet experiment.

    1. Yes!! It definitely is. I am still trying to be more open to the wacky eating habits I’ve seen floating around… but in all honesty it’s so important to listen to what your own body is telling you, that is as long as you’re being truthful with yourself, too 😉 I love Tara’s message.

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